The Charming Town of Cotati


Blink while driving up Highway 101 and you’ll miss the charming town of Cotati. The city center sports an unusual hexagonal shape with coffee shops, cafés, and sculpture, complementing the small town feel. Home to two music festivals, the Cotati Jazz Festival in June, and the internationally renowned Accordion Festival in late August, Cotati surely is a place to keep both your eyes and ears open.

Storybook House of John Allred’s Pro Framing Services

Out drawing again with the Sonoma Sketchers, this time in Cotati, California. After grabbing a big cup of coffee at a local cafe, I meet with several other sketchers to invade yet another Somona County town with sketch artists.

It’s interesting to watch the reactions of passersby as we draw along city streets. Most people speed on by to get to their next appointment. But some are curious enough to stop and appreciate, at least for a moment, the everyday world around them. I had one person say, “wow, I never even knew that tree existed before.” Comments like that are one of plein air sketching’s biggest pleasures.

Today, I chose to draw John Allred’s Pro Framing Services shop that looks like a storybook house. I love the large tree that protects it from the afternoon sun. A while back I got a call from John asking me to stop by the frame shop and resign a print of my watercolor. Seems the buyer had a different idea of where to mat the print than I did and wanted me to resign it in another location. It’s an unusual request, but I obliged, making the customer happy.